I Don’t Block


…And he knocked me to the ground still throwing punches. My health bar drops rapidly with each and every blow as I struggle to move past the shots to stand up. My response to the onslaught of attacks ? Hit him before he hits me again.

Game over.

The title screen of the game flashes before my eyes, taunting me in my defeat at the hands of a computer generated character. I recently bought the fighting video game Injustice: Gods Among Us for my Xbox, and as I’m going through the tutorial, I’m reminded of a familiar habit I always seem to find myself in when it comes to most combative video games.

I don’t block…at all.

My strategy in video games that require the player to fight in any way, shape, or form is quite simple. I throw the punches, swing the sword, or shoot the gun and nothing else. I am entirely an offensive player when I play video games, even though the game mechanics offer ways to prevent the other character from pummeling you into the dirt. Most tutorials literally teach you button by button how to correctly defend yourself against other players and NPCs in the game. Yet, I never seem to be able to master the correct combos and find myself choosing to fight hard and fast to avoid any quick punches.

As always, there is an applicable lesson here. Life is a lot like a video game, and I haven’t quite mastered the art of the block there either.

Blocking life’s little problems is an important, but difficult lesson that not everyone learns to adopt. I’m not an aggressive person. I try to avoid confrontation entirely whenever I can, but I often opt for the proactive answer to a solution more so than the reactive answer. While moving forward in life is generally considered a good thing, never learning to defend oneself often leaves us more vulnerable to life’s hardships.

It’s ok to block the shot once and a while instead of being on the offense all of the time .

It’s funny, but most life lessons tie back into the idea that we are not alone in this world. We do not life entirely based on our own choices and designs. Moreover, we must be faced with the idea that our choices will be judged by others who exist in this world, and they will react accordingly to what we decide to do in this world. These reactions are not always positive or favorable to our own well being. We have to defend ourselves against the assault of others against us, but we cannot do simply by acting against them because this can leave us open and vulnerable. It’s sometimes safer to learn to react instead of simply fighting back.

We don’t have control over others. We cannot prevent their actions against us should they feel the need to attack us. We can and should fight back to protect ourselves, but solely attacking will not keep us as safe. Though not as an effective of a tool as a sword in battle, a shield can do a far better job in protecting us than a sword.

I’m not saying don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable. We need more people to be honest and open about themselves, but it’s ok to keep your guard up every now and again so you can be ready to block the shots from others as they come.

I just wish someone would teach me this technique in my video game life.



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